Bill (KWM) Fulford, Katherine Morris, John Z Sadler and Giovanni Stanghellini

in Values and Psychiatric Diagnosis

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print October 2004 | ISBN: 9780198526377
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754357 | DOI:

Series: International Perspectives in Philosophy & Psychiatry


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It is the thesis of this chapter that contemporary diagnostic classification tends to further the technological mode of relating to our profession and our patients, while diminishing the nontechnological, poietic mode of relating to our profession and our patients. As we shall see, to accuse the DSMs and ICDs of advancing the technological mode is both to criticize and to praise them. Indeed, both the technological mode and the poietic mode pose unique, and unfortunately, often exclusive, values. Understanding the tension between the two modes clarifies their embodiment in our professional practices and permits us to see their consequences more deeply. The technological mode as exemplified by our classifications poses numerous advantages in terms of technological artifact, but also disadvantages that are profoundly linked to the poietic aspects of mental health practice. But we are ahead of ourselves already. Indeed, what is technology, how does it bring such a unique mode of existence, and how are we to understand its effect on our lives and professional practices?

Chapter.  14499 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry

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